reply to post by one_man24
By what Jesus said about the rich man and Lazarus, did Jesus teach torment of the wicked after death?
Is the account, at Luke 16:19-31, literal or merely an illustration of something else?
The Jerusalem Bible, in a footnote, acknowledges that
it is a “parable in story form without reference to any historical personage.”
If taken literally, it would mean that those enjoying divine
favor could all fit at the bosom of one man, Abraham; that the water on one’s fingertip would not be evaporated by the fire of Hades; that a mere
drop of water would bring relief to one suffering there. Does that sound reasonable to you? If it were literal, it would conflict with other parts of
the Bible. If the Bible were thus contradictory, would a lover of truth use it as a basis for his faith? But the Bible does not contradict itself.
What does the parable mean?
The “rich man” represented the Pharisees. (See verse 14.) The beggar Lazarus represented the common Jewish
people who were despised by the Pharisees but who repented and became followers of Jesus. (See Luke 18:11; John 7:49; Matthew 21:31, 32.) Their
deaths were also symbolic, representing a change in circumstances. Thus, the formerly despised ones came into a position of divine favor, and the
formerly seemingly favored ones were rejected by God, while being tormented by the judgment messages delivered by the ones whom they had
despised.—Acts 5:33; 7:54.
Does the Bible indicate whether the dead experience pain?
Eccl. 9:5, 10: “The living are conscious that they will die; but as for the dead, they are conscious of nothing at all . . . All that your hand
finds to do, do with your very power, for there is no work nor devising nor knowledge nor wisdom in Sheol,* the place to which you are going.” (If
they are conscious of nothing, they obviously feel no pain.) (*“Sheol,” AS, RS, NE, JB; “the grave,” KJ, Kx; “hell,” Dy; “the world of
the dead,” TEV.)
Ps. 146:4: “His spirit goes out, he goes back to his ground; in that day his thoughts* do perish.” (*“Thoughts,” KJ, 145:4 in Dy;
“schemes,” JB; “plans,” RS, TEV.)
Does the Bible indicate that the soul survives the death of the body?
Ezek. 18:4: “The soul* that is sinning—it itself will die.” (*“Soul,” KJ, Dy, RS, NE, Kx; “the man,” JB; “the person,” TEV.)
“The concept of ‘soul,’ meaning a purely spiritual, immaterial reality, separate from the ‘body,’ . . . does not exist in the
Bible.”—La Parole de Dieu (Paris, 1960), Georges Auzou, professor of Sacred Scripture, Rouen Seminary, France, p. 128.
“Although the Hebrew word nephesh [in the Hebrew Scriptures] is frequently translated as ‘soul,’ it would be inaccurate to read into it a Greek
meaning. Nephesh . . . is never conceived of as operating separately from the body. In the New Testament the Greek word psyche is often translated
as ‘soul’ but again should not be readily understood to have the meaning the word had for the Greek philosophers. It usually means ‘life,’ or
‘vitality,’ or, at times, ‘the self.’”—The Encyclopedia Americana (1977), Vol. 25, p. 236.
Why is there confusion as to what the Bible says about hell?
“Much confusion and misunderstanding has been caused through the early translators of the Bible persistently rendering the Hebrew Sheol and the
Greek Hades and Gehenna by the word hell. The simple transliteration of these words by the translators of the revised editions of the Bible has not
sufficed to appreciably clear up this confusion and misconception.”—The Encyclopedia Americana (1942), Vol. XIV, p. 81.
Translators have allowed their personal beliefs to color their work instead of being consistent in their rendering of the original-language words. For
example: (1) The King James Version rendered she’ohl′ as “hell,” “the grave,” and “the pit”; hai′des is therein rendered both
“hell” and “grave”; ge′en·na is also translated “hell.”
(2) Today’s English Version transliterates hai′des as “Hades” and also renders it as “hell” and “the world of the dead.” But besides
rendering “hell” from hai′des it uses that same translation for ge′en·na.
(3) The Jerusalem Bible transliterates hai′des six times, but in other passages it translates it as “hell” and as “the underworld.” It also
translates ge′en·na as “hell,” as it does hai′des in two instances. Thus the exact meanings of the original-language words have been
I have done the research for you guys, an accumulation of years of study. Continue to believe what you always have, or perhaps now is the time, to at
least try to imitate the 1st century Christians like those in Berea who Paul talked to. Any christian who is serious about their personal
Acts 17 verse 11
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
The people of Berea were more open-minded than the people of Thessalonica. They were very willing to receive God's message, and every day they
carefully examined the Scriptures to see if what Paul said was true.
The Berean Christians in the 1st century are an awesome example for 21st century Christians to follow, and I try to do so.